Beyond Good Taste - Worst Foodie Gift-Giving Ideas

What with Xmas and the New Year just around the corner, time to take a brief hiatus from the restaurant review scene. This is a moment for pigging out at home. And I've begun to do my share, with the traditional (smoked salmon, multi-fish terrines, escargot drenched in persil butter, mini feuilletes of black olive, etc.) and non-traditional (Mortstiff's famous spicy fish chowder, etc.), not to mention the glutinous buches de noel beckoning from the freezer and copious varieties of beverages to wash all this down.

But if you've waited until the last minute for your annual gift-buying spree, there are numerous items of note that are available for the avid food and dining enthusiast, from books (such as Rene Redzepi's Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine) to kitchen appliances, like the inexpensive Capresso frothPRO milk frother I just purchased. The frother works great, although once I translated the customer reviews from the German site from which I ordered it, I'm a bit hesitant to recommend it as a gift - apparently, I can expect a lifespan of about five weeks before the thing goes kaput.

But from my experience, you definitely can't go wrong with the simple gift of a bottle. For example, I would not say no to a 21-years aged PortWood bottle of The Balvenie.

There are also plenty of items out there to avoid at all costs as possible gifts, unless you really, really don't like the person for whom you are buying it. Some amusing examples from Robert Sietsema's Village Voice column Our 10 Worst Foodie Xmas Presents. I've posted below some of the more noteworthy examples - you can check out all 10 at the Sietsema link.

Awful Gift #9: Chocolate Bathroom Scale,

This actual bathroom scale bears images of succulent chocolates, which should make your gift recipient really pleased each time that person checks out his or her weight. Worse, instead of pounds or kilos, there is a graduated list of obnoxious phrases like 'I'm so amazing.'

Awful Gift #7: Banana Stand,

I must admit, if I ever received this luxurious banana holder as a gift, I would be torn as to where to put it - in the kitchen or in a place of prominence in the living room. Can you say trash can?

Awful Gift #4: Funny Chef Outfit,

What I would like to know is what is so funny about a stupid chef outfit, and who would you imagine would appreciate receiving one?

Awful Gift #3: Ms. Food Face Plate

There are no doubt many creative cooks who would love to receive something like this, which would make food presentation as simple as connect the dots, some of whom may in fact have a mental age above 4.

Awful Gift #2: Pizza Cutter Fork,

I'm sure that on paper this 'futter' must have looked like a great idea. My guess is it would end up in the back of one's kitchen drawer within days, assuming it could fit.

Awful Gift #1: Fetus Cookie Cutter,

I'm sure some expectant parents might find this cookie-cutter shaped like a days-old fetus to be an ideal gift.

Still can't decide? Here's one for honorable mention.

Happy shopping!
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